The little green pumpkin was really cute, and if her five-year-old son preferred it to the hundreds of bright orange ones lying in the pumpkin patch, that was okay with Deborah Reece. “It will soon turn orange,” she told Matthew, “and then you can decorate it for Halloween.”
And that’s what happened. But later in the year, when Reece asked her pre-school class how they wanted to decorate for Christmas, one unfettered-by-traditions little person shouted “Pumpkins!”
“Pumpkins? What would you do with a pumpkin for Christmas?” asked Reece. Then the idea occurred to her: Matthew always picks a green pumpkin, but what if it hadn’t turned orange for Halloween?
For Reece, the idea became one of those incidents that might be called an epiphany if it weren’t so small—the kind of inspiration that grows unbidden. “Wouldn’t that make a great children’s book,” she thought, and the story of The Christmas Pumpkin began to take shape in her mind.
She wrote and rewrote. She drew sketches and talked to publishers. Finally, she decided to publish it herself. Keeping the complete process of creating the book in North Texas, Reece hired Ron Head of Imatrix, Inc. in Van Alstyne to illustrate it and Ussery Printing in Irving to print it.
Then she created cross-curriculum ideas for students K-7 and marketed her book with visits to schools. Since June, Reece has sold more than one thousand copies of The Christmas Pumpkin. This holiday season she will be making promotional appearances at schools, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and malls.
“The Christmas Pumpkin” ($8)
by Deborah Reece with illustrations by Ron Head
New to You Consignment, Denison; The Elves Christmas Tree Farm and Pumpkin Patch, Denison; Simply Puzzled, Sherman; Durning House, Van Alstyne or online at